The AP reports that an undisclosed settlement was reached yesterday in a federal lawsuit over the death of a man in a for-profit jail in Texarkana.
Michael Sabbie ― a 35-year-old stay-at-home father of four — was jailed in 2015 on a misdemeanor domestic threatening charge in the Bi-State Justice Center, which sits on the Texas-Arkansas border. He had been in custody for three days when he was found dead in his cell, after complaining repeatedly to jailers that he was having difficulty breathing. Criminal investigations resulted in no charges.
The jail was run by the private LaSalle Corrections, a named defendant in the civil complaint along with Bowie County in Texas and the city of Texarkana, Arkansas. The lawsuit alleged that Sabbie was denied proper medical treatment. Previous coverage here and here, including the disturbing jail video of officers using force on Sabbie as he states, “I can’t breathe” 19 times.